How Pokémon Has Influenced My Life
Today is the 22nd Anniversary of Pokémon and what an amazing 22 years it’s been. Pokémon has been a huge part of my life and how I’ve made stories. In fact, I first started making Pokémon fanfiction to get my foot in the door. And while I do miss all of the characters I’ve made, I haven’t forgotten everything I’d learned since then. So today, I wanted to discuss how Pokémon has affected me and how I write. Because no doubt this series has influenced me a lot.
My History With Pokémon
I remembered the first time I came into the Pokémon series. I was on the bus with a fifth grader and he brought up if I had ever seen it. I told him no and he started to explain what Pokémon was. Some of the episodes, the creatures. It was my first time ever hearing about the show and little did I know that that bus ride would change me forever.
I got home and I saw the anime for the first time. At first, it was a culture shock because Japanese animation was a stark contrast to the stuff on Nickelodeon I grew up with. But that also would turn me into the anime nerd I am today.
Since then, I haven’t left the fandom and it’s become a huge part of who I am. I doubt I’d be making these stories if I hadn’t watched this series nor played the games.
Yet what is it about Pokémon that makes it unique? It could be the creatures themselves, strongly resembling real-life animals and being capable of god-like abilities that can turn the tide of battle. It could be the bonds you share with them since Pokémon promotes the idea that Pokémon are your friends and allies. Or perhaps it’s the sense of adventure, and since it takes place in the real world, it adds to my dream of one day going out on a journey of my own.
So many reasons to enjoy Pokémon, yet this series is different. It’s lasted longer than most franchises and ever since the 90s when it first came about, it hasn’t slowed down since. Nothing has topped it since. Which is phenomenal when you consider that back then, the best things to happen in gaming was Mario and The Legend of Zelda, both of which have a place in my heart as well.
I have lost interest when I was younger and didn’t get back until Ruby and Sapphire in 2003. Back then, most kids I knew lost interest. Perhaps we thought this was as good as the series was going to get, but nope. It’s only gotten better. X and Y and Sun and Moon were amazing games and I doubt I’ll slow down anytime soon.
Incorporating What I Grew Up With
The series innocence and its message of working together is something I incorporate into my writing. I want to have that same sense of mysticism and wonder I had growing up. Though I feature works in what are considered “adult” markets, I still want this innocence in my stories. That doesn’t mean I won’t have any serious works, but I do want to have hope and optimism in my stories. I want them to mean something and have bonds be the important theme in my stories.
I feel the series has given me so much inspiration for not just creatures but characters. Some personalities, many serious, a few timid and shy and others enigmatic and mysterious.
I want others to experience the same innocence I had when I was a kid watching and enjoying Pokémon at its peak. I want that same feeling coming home from school, turning on Kids WB and seeing the anime for the first time. I want characters kids can look up to and admire regardless of who they are.
Pokémon has taught me so much even today. Showing respect towards creatures that can’t even talk, I feel, is a great idea. Too often, I see animal companions that talk, especially fictional ones. Nothing’s wrong with it, but Pokémon manages to capture the essence clear by making them truly creatures rather than humans that happen to be fantasy creatures. Sure, I do this sometimes, but I feel the stylistic choice might also add to the overall popularity.
It made me want Pokémon in real life. The sense of adventure is something I’ve longed since forever. To be able to go wherever I want and do some grand thing. Perhaps when I get enough money, I could do just that. Maybe I won’t even have a house, but a traveling RV and just explore the world.
But that’s too far off for me to consider. A nice comfortable home comes first.
In any case, I use Pokémon as a basis for all my works, and while I don’t think I can do better than Pokémon, it still holds a place in my heart. I doubt I’d be the man I am today if I didn’t see my first anime episode when I was a kid. Too often I wonder what I would have been like if I didn’t grow up with Pokémon, and by extent, Nintendo and Nickelodeon. What kind of individual would I be? Would I still be the imaginative person I am today? Or would I go down something else? I owe my childhood thanks to this and I hope for a bright future for the franchise.
That’s about all I have. Another short one, but I’ll have a longer post next time. I just wanted to reminisce about my childhood and think about what I grew up into.
So what about you? Did you grow up with this series? Are you still a fan? I’d love to meet more authors who are Pokémon fans as well, so let me know your thoughts.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.